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We need another Hart's
In the good old days, on almost every corner there were grocery stores. The king of the stores was Hart's. There will be a market closing in mid-December on upper Monroe Avenue (R's Food Market) that clamors for a new owner.
Now that the new Hart's downtown has proven itself, why not take over the space where R's is? Keep the same style, products of the region, a few tables for a quick snack or a drink, good takeout, quality meats, poultry, and fish. Make sure that there is a good selection of produce and cheese. Do not forget the staples like milk, eggs, bread, and water.
Customers are looking for service and quality. Let's give it a stab.
'Those' Spencerport children
I was delighted to hear that the Spencerport school board has put the Urban-Suburban program on hold. I am, frankly, completely opposed to this program. Don't get me wrong; I have friends who live in Spencerport and I know there are nice, well-meaning people there. But I just don't think those kids would do well in our district.
The total population of Spencerport is a fourth of our school district's student population. I doubt those children can handle the overwhelming diversity of ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomics that our students embody.
Also, I hate to generalize, but we explicitly chose to live in the city and send our kids to city schools, and all of a sudden they're going to have to sit next to suburban kids? What happens if all those suburban values like materialism, greed, vinyl siding, racism, lawn ornamentation, and taking cheerleading seriously start to rub off on my kids? Not that I'm generalizing. But cheerleading? Really?
Also, our kids have never experienced an instant of bullying, and according to social media, that's all that suburban kids do to one another. I mean, I've seen Pretty in Pink. I've seen a lot of John Hughes movies and I know what those people are like. I'm not just making this stuff up. It's a slippery slope, folks.
Send a few suburban kids to city schools, they do well academically and make friends, they recognize the joy and resiliency so many of our students have in the face of adversity, they find out that so much of the negativity heaped on our schools is the product of a lazy and prejudiced media, and then they and their families will want to move here!
If more and more people move back to the city and send their kids to our schools and realize they've been sacrificing a life rich with diversity, culture, and community for crappy tract houses and isolation (I've seen Far From Heaven), then this whole city will improve, the economy will improve, more schools will improve, and the entire county will benefit. I say no. Stay out there with your SUV's and your drugs and your malls and your garden gnomes and your pompoms. Not that these stereotypes apply to everyone; I saw Breakfast Club.
A great idea, though, would be to have the reverse kind of program where you get a few of our students. You guys could really learn something from that!
A Rochester City School District parent
A clarification on word use
I was grateful to see an article in City regarding voting rights issues that face transgender people. Voter ID laws disproportionately affect transgender people and many cisgender people don't know this issue exists at all. What a gift from City! The article was clearly written with care and with every intention to be respectful.
However, it concerned me to see the word "transgender" used as a noun and "transgenderism" used at all. While I obviously cannot speak for Ms. Delaney, many if not most trans people do not refer to themselves using this language, preferring "transgender" as an adjective. "Transgenderism" is most frequently used by anti-trans groups.
For more details, please see GLAAD's remarkable media guide on transgender issues: http://www.glaad.org/reference/transgender
Demand more from UR-East deal
The proposal will be approved and the UR will get everything it wants, but there will be obstacles because the proposal calls for millions in additional resources and funding. Other schools and programs are going to be cut.
Additionally, the unions may appear to like all of this, but the charter-school-like autonomy has to frighten them. I can't see the superintendent and his staff embracing it, either; it is too expensive and self-contained.
Regardless, this will move forward. The university has incredible political clout. The proposal partners include organizations whose leaders and boards of directors are part of a web of influence that runs from City Hall all the way to Albany. They all know this will be a grant pot of gold.
Unfortunately, this essentially replaces one bureaucracy with another. It may be a new kitchen, but there are still too many cooks. An essential question is why many of the proposed outcomes are so low. In some cases these must be raised, especially given the amount of money being spent.
After four years, anticipated passing rates for grades 7 and 8 in ELA and math are around 20 percent. Really? Only one of five students will pass after all of this? That has to be questioned. In the end, expect Commissioner King to give board president Van White and the UR a Christmas gift. He is leaving so the timing is perfect.
GOTTA SAY IT